SIS News Archive
Having the opportunity to experience life a reader and writer for one week at Columbia University is a dream come true for any teacher. Listening to world-renowned authors, educators and inspiring poets was just the boost we needed to carry our knowledge back to SIS and sprinkle our learning amongst the teachers and the students at SIS.
Teacher's College at Columbia University is where educators around the world get together to collaborate and share best teaching practices. The week-long summer institutes provide teachers and administrators the opportunity to refine their workshop practice. The sessions offered teachers specialized trainings within reading and writing, but also time for conversation and reflection.
This past summer, we went to the reading and writing institutes and had the chance to bring back new and exciting ideas and methods to add to our teaching repertoire at SIS. For example, in the first week of school teachers have jumped right into observing and mentoring other teachers with the workshop model. The phrase "come on into my room and watch my lesson..." is a common phrase at SIS. We are also able to share and demonstrate more ways to confer with the students while they work, helping build student goals and develop teaching points.
Kindergarten teachers were so motivated that they started teaching writing workshop on the first day of school, even before most knew their letter sounds! In just 20 days of learning, the students have risen to meet high expectations. They have published their first books and relished with their parents in a huge celebration known as a "Publishing Party" celebrate the fact that they are writers.
In Grade 1, students have been so excited about reading independently! Students have been asking every day "is it time for reading yet?" as they read to their buddies and partners. They are working on partner reading strategies and respectfully sharing their thoughts and questions with each other. The teachers are having more conversations to continue meeting student needs by conferring one-on-one, in strategy groups, and guided reading groups. Having the guidance, resources, and flexibility to try different things has only continued to benefit the students and teachers.
On a professional note, we are growing our leadership qualities amongst our peers at SIS. We are fortunate to be at a school where we can help foster the passion and learning for literacy, for students, teachers, and parents. We'll keep supporting parents to help their child's reading & writing growth!
Melissa Edwards & Ritu Bohara